Negotiating cost of attendance – Lora Georgieva, owner of Destination College and Certified College Planner, was able to help a high school senior negotiate the cost of attendance with Johns Hopkins University by receiving an additional $200,000.

I was hired to negotiate college costs by a middle-income family who had a child going to Johns Hopkins University. When their student was originally admitted to her dream university, Johns Hopkins, they assured her cost would not be a barrier to attending the university. During the orientation session, they explained that because of their abundant endowment funds, they became a no-loan university for low- and medium-income families. When she later received a bill for over $50,000/year, however, the student felt she was misled.

Tuition now became a barrier as her soon-to-be retired parents realized they would have to pay $50,000/year without having a college savings plan or anything saved for their retirement. After multiple attempts to appeal the financial aid award, the university gave her $28,000 over 4 years. Even with that additional aid her parents couldn’t afford to send her to college.

After continued negotiations with the financial aid office, they awarded her an additional $28,000 over 4 years ($56,000 total over 4 years). My clients were extremely happy with the result, but I wasn’t. I continued researching why they wouldn’t keep their promise of making college affordable for her, especially after the generous $6.5 billion dollar donation of Michael Bloomberg.

To our surprise, the very next day, my student received an email from Michael Bloomberg that her tuition is paid for.

Then I decided to reach out to Michael Bloomberg, who was a generous donor to the university, and describe her circumstances. I created a draft letter and had the student email it directly to Michael Bloomberg. My clients thought I had absolutely lost my mind. To our great surprise and delight, Mr. Bloomberg immediately responded and helped pay for her education with additional funds.

Special note. When a university sends a financial aid award, it is really their first offer. You can counteroffer that. That has been the case while I was helping multiple students admitted at public universities such as Miami and Ohio, and private universities such as DePaul, Redlands, and Lake Forest College, to name a few. The additional funding after the negotiation exceeded $8,000 with most universities. You have nothing to lose by trying to negotiate the skyrocketing cost of college.